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Pieter-Dirk Uys

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Pieter-Dirk Uys (pronounced "ace") is a South African satirist (born 1945 in Cape Town), active as a performer, author, and social activist. He is the son of a Calvinist Afrikaner father and Berlin-born Jewish mother, Helga Bessel Uys.[1] He had an NG Kerk upbringing.[2] He began his dramatic career as a serious playwright, switching to one-man revues at the height of the Apartheid era.

Uys is particularly well known for his character Evita Bezuidenhout (also known as Tannie Evita), a white Afrikaner socialite and self-proclaimed political activist. The character was inspired by Australian comedian Barry Humphries's character Dame Edna Everage. Evita is the ambassadress of Bapetikosweti - a fictitious Bantustan or black homeland located outside her home in the affluent, formerly whites-only suburbs of Johannesburg. Evita Bezuidenhout is named in honor of the Argentine political figure and former First Lady, Eva (or Evita) Perón.

Under Apartheid, Uys used the medium of humor and stand-up comedy to criticize and expose the absurdity of the South African government's racial policies. Much of his work was not censored, indicating a closet approval of his views by many members of the ruling party, who were not so bold as to openly admit mistakes and criticize the policies themselves. For many years, Uys lampooned the South African regime and its leaders, as well as the sometimes hypocritical attitudes of white liberals. One of his characters, a kugel (wealthy Jewish woman) once said: "There are two things wrong with South Africa: one's apartheid and the other's black people". [1] [2] This was later erroneously attributed to Uys himself.

Following South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994, Uys starred in a TV series, Funigalore, in which Evita interviewed Nelson Mandela and other prominent politicians of the day. In the theater, Uys/Evita's performances include You ANC Nothing Yet. He and his character are known for their tireless work in the frontline of HIV/AIDS activism and education. He is currently involved in teaching AIDS awareness to children and education in the use of condoms, traveling to schools all over South Africa.

He has converted the old railway station of Darling, where he lives, into a cabaret venue called Evita se Perron (Perron is Afrikaans for station platform) and performs there regularly. He is openly gay.[1] During 2004, Pieter-Dirk Uys took part in a Carte Blanche story, dealing with genetics and unlocking the mysteries of race and ethnicity, entitled "So, Where Do We Come From?". Uys discovered that he has khoisan heritage from his mother's side.[3][4] Uys received the Special Teddy Award 2011[5] at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) for his commitment to AIDS education at South African schools and for his on-stage alter ego, Evita Bezuidenhout. An independent jury presents the Teddy Award to individuals for lifetime achievements for films with LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) topics.[6]

Awards and Honors Edit

  • Truth and Reconciliation Award in 2001
  • Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout was awarded the Living Legacy 2000 Award in San Diego USA.
  • Doctor honoris causa from
    • Rhodes University: D.Litt.Hon. in 1997
    • University of Cape Town: D.Litt for distinguished, socially-responsible creative work in 2003
    • University of the Western Cape: D.Edu.Hon. in 2003

Books Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tallmer, Jerry (November 05 - 11, 2003). South African performer hands a shovel to the head-buried president. The Villager. Retrieved on 9 August 2012. ““The word is mainly associated with the Nazi extermination of millions of Jews, gays, gypsies, and others during World War II,” said Uys, gay and the son of a Berlin-born Jewish mother. “But does genocide always have to be at the end of a machine gun?”
  2. Jani Allan (1980s). Face Value. Longstreet. 
  3. Uys' background
  4. Cape Slavery Heritage website
  5. The Special Teddy Award
  6. Uys to bear it and grin in Berlin

External links Edit


Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Pieter-Dirk Uys. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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